Four Friends (by Robyn Carr)

Contemporary Romance (maybe Chick Lit)

Three women, neighbours and friends, find themselves facing marriages that are falling apart. Then a neighbour who moved in 12 months earlier but has always avoided any overtures of friendship steps in and through simple acts of kindness manages to bring them even closer and mover them towards healing.
Gerri has always relied on the rock solid partnership she has with her husband. Even if their sex lives aren’t what they were they are partners in every sense. Then she discovers that five years earlier her husband had an affair.

Andy kicks her husband out after discovering he is a serial cheater. She opens up to the carpenter who has been remodelling her kitchen. Over the weeks she comes to value his steadiness and wisdom. She finds herself falling in love but has a hard time trusting her feelings.

Sonja is a health food fanatic who teacher yoga and advises people on the feng shui of their homes. But when her husband walks out on her, her carefully constructed world crumbles around her and she descends into severe depression.

BJ arrived in the neighbourhood 12 months earlier. But she has a secret that she needs to guard for the sake of her children and keeps to herself.


Four Friends is a book which doesn’t neatly fit into its genre. It’s contemporary romance and as you would expect from contemporary romance everything is neatly tied up at the end. But life is messy and the issues Robyn Carr is exploring are some of the messiest of all. However, written as contemporary romance I loved this book…and I don’t think I would say that if it was written with a more “chick lit” aesthetic.

The book reminded me a lot of a previous book by Robyn Carr, Summer in Sonoma. Both books deal with four female friends facing some difficult life challenges but where Summer in Sonoma focuses on women from their late 20s to early 40s, Four Friends is about women who are a little older, from their late 30s to early 50s.

It’s a very satisfying book for fans of Robyn Carr and contemporary romance.

Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 4.32.33 pmYellow / Orange / Red –– What it means.

The Hero (by Robyn Carr)

Contemporary Romance

After escaping from a secretive cult, Devon finds herself walking along a back road with her young daughter. When Rawley sees her on the side of the road he knows she is running and offers her a lift and a safe place to stay until she can decide where to go next.

Recently widowed, Spencer is still in mourning over the death of his wife.  Thunder Point is a chance for a new beginning as the coach of the local high school football team. So when Rawley helps Devon to find a job and start building a life in Thunder Point he immediately pushes thoughts of the beautiful blonde from his mind.

But as the weeks pass he finds himself drawn to her and they take some tentative steps towards a relationship. But both have baggage. Both have children. And Devon has a controlling and manipulative cult leader on her trail.

The Hero is what readers expect from Robyn Carr.  It is a well written contemporary romance which is about more than just Devon and Spencer.  Stories from previous books are revisited and characters are introduced who will appear in future books. The Hero reminded me a little of Shelter Mountain (Virgin River Book 2).  That’s not a bad thing, Shelter Mountain is probably my favorite in the Virgin River series and I enjoyed this book almost as much.

Many thanks to Harlequin and Netgalley for providing me with this ARC.

The Newcomer (by Robyn Carr)

Contemporary Romance

Mac is a single father of three children. Since his wife ran off with another man many years earlier, life has been one of financial hardship.  Now, though still not well off by any stretch of the imagination, he has finally found a measure of security for him and his family.

As a teenage girl Gina fell pregnant to the local bad boy. When she told him he ran off leaving her alone to raise their child. Money is tight but through hard work and determination she has managed to find a place for herself and her daughter in Thunder Point.

After many years of putting their families first Mac and Gina have finally taken the first steps towards a future together. But just when things are starting to look good for them, Mac’s ex-wife returns to Thunder Point and wants to reconnect. Adding to the dramas, Gina’s daughter Ashley has been dumped by her boyfriend for another girl and falls into a deep depression.

Robyn Carr writes in a mosaic style. Characters are introduced whose stories will be told in future books. Some stories are concluded within the pages of a single book while other stories will be revisited in future books. It’s a style that works well for Robyn Carr. I thought book one, The Wanderer felt a little busy, perhaps even clunky, but with The Newcomer Robyn Carr has definitely found her mojo.  It’s entertaining and polished and augurs well for this series.

Many thanks to Harlequin and Netgalley for providing me with this ARC.

The Wanderer (by Robyn Carr)

After the death of an old army buddy, Cooper travels to Thunder Point, Oregon determined to find out what happened. While there he learns that his friend has left him a run down bait shop and a large parcel of pristine beach front  land. But Cooper is a wanderer at heart and settling down isn’t in the plan.

Sarah is a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter pilot. She moved to Thunder Point to escape her cheating ex-husband, not so easy to do when you work out of the same base. His betrayal was so deep that she can’t trust any man and especially someone like Cooper who freely admits he has commitment issues. But as Cooper steps in and helps Sarah’s brother who is facing bullying at school, she finds herself drawn to him.

Robyn Carr doesn’t just write romance novels, she writes whole communities. The Wanderer centres around Cooper and Sarah, but it’s in no way only about them. Characters and story lines are introduced which will come into focus in future books. It’s one of the things I love the most about  Robyn Carr’s writing. Stories don’t just end on the last page of the book, we will revisit these same characters in each book in the series.

I found this book to be a little busy in the first couple of chapters but after that it settled down into an intelligent story about ordinary people trying to make their way in the world.

Many thanks to Harlequin and Netgalley for providing me with this ARC.

My Kind of Christmas (by Robyn Carr)

And Angie saw him. He was standing on the porch of the bar, leaning a shoulder against a post. He was most definitely watching her. When their eyes met he did that smile thing again––half his mouth lifted.

When Patrick loses his best friend in combat, he takes a medical leave and heads to Virgin River to get himself together and make some decisions about his future.

Angie has lived her entire life pleasing her mother, but a serious car accident has left her questioning her goals. Unable to decide if she wants to continue at med-school she escapes to Virgin River to collect her thoughts. When she meets Megan, a young girl with an ugly scar across her face, she decides to step in and make a difference. She makes it her mission to raise the money that will restore little Megan’s face.

Patrick and Angie are both being pulled in different directions. In a few short weeks they will be forced apart, but until then they are able to find a measure of comfort in each other’s arms. Before long they have fallen in love but with Patrick’s commitment to Navy and the widow of his friend, there doesn’t seem to be any room for Angie in his life.

My Kind of Christmas is very much what we have come to expect from Robyn Carr. It’s a light and fluffy love story with an upbeat and optimistic message. A fun book to read over Christmas.

Many thanks to Harlequin and Netgalley for providing me with this ARC.